You’ve decided you are ready to sell your home and move somewhere new. Selling your home is a huge decision, but before you put your home on the market it’s important to have a pre-sale inspection done on your property. This advice is true even if you believe it’s in good condition.

Why Do I Need a Pre-Sale Inspection?

A pre-sale inspection gives sellers the opportunity to address problems with their home before they place it on the market. A home inspection ensures that the buyer knows exactly what they are buying. The more problems, the less likely the buyer will purchase the house—especially if the seller is not willing to fix them.

It’s important to note that many lenders require buyers to do an inspection to ensure that the loan amount for the mortgage is not more than what the home is actually worth. If it is, it can negatively impact your Kansas City mortgage rates and cause you to go underwater.

Who is Responsible for Paying for a Home Inspection?

Pre-sale inspections usually cost between $300 and $500 and the buyer is responsible for paying for the inspection. However, the sales contract on the home will dictate who will pay the fee. Some sellers choose to cover the cost of the inspection in seller concessions, meaning the seller gives the buyer a lump sum of money at closing to cover the inspection cost.

How a Home Inspection Works

Before you allow an inspector into your home, it’s a good rule of thumb to test all:

  • Light fixtures
  • Outlets
  • Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Smoke alarms

Thoroughly testing these items before the inspection will communicate to potential buyers that you care about your house and worked to keep up maintenance on it.

What is Inspected?

The entire inspection process will take roughly two to three hours depending on the size of your property. During this time, the inspector will perform a thorough walk-through to identify any potential problems. The inspector will review:

  • Plumbing
  • Heating and cooling
  • Electrical and appliance systems
  • Roof
  • Foundation
  • Basement
  • Exterior and interior walls
  • Chimney, doors and windows
Completing the Inspection

Once the home inspection is complete, the inspector creates a report for the home buyer detailing all that was found. This report will document problems requiring immediate attention and conditions that could lead to more serious issues over time.

Some sellers will choose not to correct every defect found within the inspection report. They may acknowledge some issues without fixing them and explain to buyers that they are willing to adjust their price to cover the estimated cost of repairs.

Next Up: How to Check a Home’s Insurance History

The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.